Senior Special Assistant to the Benue State Governor on Public Utilities, Sanitation and Environment, Nathaniel Ikyur has stated that the state government is set to partner with some companies to create wealth from waste.
According to Ikyur, who spoke after a special Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) sanitation exercise held over the weekend at the NUJ House in Makurdi in his honour, in the next few weeks, the Benue State Government would go into partnership with the companies in order to help Benue and her citizens generate wealth from waste.
“Waste generation and disposal should be properly managed and that is what the government wants to do through the partnership,” he stressed.
Ikyur, who also called for all hands to be on deck to help the government in salvaging the sanitation situation in the state, noted that partnering with the NUJ to carry out the monthly sanitation exercise would further publicise and sell the idea to the public, as there is every need for attitudinal change towards sanitation and waste management.
In his address, the Vice Chairman of the Council, Martins Kajo, stated that the union decided to partner with the SSA considering the importance of sanitation, adding that there is need to carry out sanitation every week instead of just once a month.
According to Kajo, cleaning the environment is ideal in enhancing a healthy society, therefore, the union decided to come out and clean the environment and support one of theirs in his efforts in sanitising the environment in Makurdi.
Also speaking, Chairman NUJ Correspondents Chapel, Aloysius Umalo, said they came out to carry out the sanitation exercise as a mark of living up to the tenets of supporting a clean environment.
He said, “It is our duty as journalists to inform the masses of sanitation and it is also our duty to help in sanitising the environment by taking part in sanitation.”
In his submission, a veteran journalist with Radio Benue, Dr. Fidelis Otebe, who stated that change begins with one, noted that a clean environment is a healthy one therefore, as journalists, they need to show example by cleaning the environment.
He maintained that as the watchdog of the society, journalists too have a role to play in educating the public on the need to keep the environment clean as well as take part in doing it physically.
It will be recalled that at a recent meeting of the Union’s State Working Committee (SWC) and State Executive Council (SEC), members appraised the sanitary conditions in Makurdi which they attributed to the environmental activities of Ikyur.
According to the union, a letter of commendation has since been delivered to Ikyur and, in support of his efforts, they decided to hold a special sanitation exercise as a mark of honour and a means to encourage his good performance.
In another development, General Manager Benue State Environmental Sanitation Agency (BENSESA), Andrew Chile, while addressing journalists after the monthly sanitation exercise in his office, stated that the agency has put modalities in place to curb the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in Makurdi.
According to him, over 60 defaulters were last week arrested carrying out indiscriminate dumping of refuse and made to carry out the cleaning of the said areas to serve as deterrent.
He added that they have liaised with security agencies with clear instructions on arrests and those arrested next will be sorry for themselves as very drastic measures are coming ahead to address indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
By Damian Daga